Book Creator helps 8-year-old new to English

Emma McCluskeyCase study, English, Languages

This is the story of how an iPad with Book Creator helped a student to create a book 6 months after arriving in a classroom with no English.

In September 2012 we distributed iPads to all pupils in the school from Reception to Year 13, teachers received their iPads a few months before the pupils. All pupils received an iPad 3, an iPad case and a range of apps depending on their age.

Why Book Creator?

Book Creator was an app that a representative from Apple had thoroughly recommended for us to look at and it looked like an ideal app mainly for Key Stage 2 pupils.

During the distribution of iPads teachers, parents and pupils were given a demonstration of how the Book Creator app worked. As it’s such a simple app to use, even for the most techno-phobic teachers it became one of our most used apps, not just in Key Stage 2 but also in Key Stage 1.

How can Book Creator can be used in a primary school?

Book Creator is used in a range of different ways across the school: the younger children often use it to make topic books or add photos and voice recordings whereas older children use Book Creator to share or show what they have learned about a project or topic.

Occasionally we have printed out PDF versions of books to display in classrooms but we have also uploaded pupils’ work on Book Creator as an iBook onto our Frog VLE which is the preferred way to share the pupils work that contains audio or video.

Literacy topic: Alternative Fairy Tales

Three Little Wolves eBook front cover

For this unit of work pupils had to write an ‘alternative’ version of a fairy tale, pupils did their written work in their literacy books and Book Creator was used as a way in which pupils could publish and share their work.

The example of the ‘Three Little Wolves’ is from 8-year-old Min Gyu an EAL pupil in my Year 3 class. The book was created in the spring, Min Gyu arrived in my class in September new to English.

First Min Gyu drew out his ideas for the story, we took photos of his pictures and inserted them into Book Creator.

I love the idea that pupils can use their own illustrations in Book Creator, they don’t have to only use images they’ve found on the Internet. With support Min Gyu was then able to write a short fairy tale to go with his pictures.

Download the ePub book ‘Three Little Wolves’ by Min Gyu

Audio recording on Book Creator

The audio feature on Book Creator is an excellent tool and we’ve been using it in a number of ways, obviously it allows young children who cannot read or write to create their own audio stories.

However many of our EAL pupils are often very shy about reading out their work or even speaking in front of small groups. Min Gyu was able to read and record his own story onto Book Creator without a daunting audience listening to him.

After listening to the recording he began to get used to the sound of his voice in English and he was happy to share his completed iBook with pupils and teachers across the school.

As teachers we also regularly use the audio feature of Book Creator to mark pupils’ work, we have had excellent feedback from parents about this.

Emma McCluskey is a teacher at the British School of Paris. As well as teaching a Year 3 class she holds the position of Head of e-Learning, and is therefore responsible for the teaching and learning aspect of their iPad project.

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